What if you lived in an area with limited access to doctors and medical supplies? What if your loved one was sick and you didn’t have anywhere to turn to get them help? Many areas in the world today face these very challenges and don’t know where to turn. Luckily, there are many incredible medical missions like The Mindo Futures that provide help every year to those in need.
What is the The Mindo Futures Bridge Program?
Back in the early 70‘s, Sister Lucia and two other nuns from the Divine Providence established an orphanage in the tiny pueblo of Mindo, Ecuador to help give homeless children a place to live. However, it was clear to these three nuns that educating the children was just as crucial as sheltering them. That’s when La Unidad Educativa Fiscomisional Tecnico Ecuador, UEFTE came into play, giving children a chance to grow their minds while staying safe off the streets. Miami’s own Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and LaSalle High Schools teamed up with this organization to help raise funds and provide support for these kids, ringing in around thousands of dollars since 1998.
After it was clear that something else had to follow suit for these kids upon graduating at the age of 18, it was determined that these kids deserved a fair chance to continue their education and get the support they needed to do so. Right then, The Mindo Futures Bridge Program was born, helping the young students from UEFTE go back to school to get their college degree. Students that were selected to The Mindo Futures Bridge Program in 2008, were determined based upon their academic achievements and financial need. Once chosen, the students moved to Quito for college, where they not only got an education but also learned valuable everyday living chores such as how to cook, clean and set a budget. The students from The Mindo Futures Bridge Program now volunteer every year at the Medical Mission, by using what they have learned and helping those who are need.
The medical mission was started back in 2008 by the very students that were accepted and graduated from The Mindo Futures Bridge Program along with various doctors, nurses and volunteers. Every year, the group travels to a small village in Ecuador to help treat thousands of people in need within a five-day period, some of which include the small children and students from UEFTE.
As the years passed, the volunteer group has grown substantially, bringing in many more doctors and nurses to help allow them to reach more patients while there. Patients were not only given treatments for their current ailments, but they were taught how to prevent many of these issues in the future so they will stay strong and healthy. While they might have just started out with helping 1,000-2,000 patients, these days the group strives to help anywhere from 4,000-5,000 each year, offering a wide range of services including internal medicine, dentistry, psychology and general surgery.
Today, Mindo Futures, Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit organization in the state of Florida.
Volunteering and Donating
The mission is opened to anyone who is interested in helping others. Joining the many devoted volunteers is Dr. Flor Mayoral from the esteemed mother-daughter Miami dermatologist duo, Mayoral Dermatology located in Coral Gables. Her effects along with the support of the rest of the volunteers is greatly appreciated and admired. However, those interested in helping and may not be able to attend the mission, can easily do so simply by donating much needed supplies.
Donations are crucial for this mission as supplies are needed to help children and adults that are in need. By donating you will be able to help many that are sick or hurt and can easily help prevent minor health issues from occurring again, such as sunburn or dental issues.
Before the medical mission takes place, many medications needs to be collected to take over to Ecuador so if you are interested in taking part in this wonderful program, here’s what you need to know.
The necessary over the counter medications include:
- aspirin (81 mg)
- pre-natal vitamins
- adult multi-vitamins
- antacids – Tums and Pepcid.
- Hydrocortizone (1% & 2.5%)
Other much needed pediatric medications include:
- children’s vitamins
- baby/infant liquid vitamins
- infant and children’s Tylenol
While medical supplies are greatly desired, there are a few non-medical supplies that the mission is also looking to receive including:
- hand sanitizer
- sunblocks (sticks or lotions)
- baby diapers
- Zip-lock bags (please only quart size and gallon size)
All supplies need to be collected before June 16, 2014. For more information, or to donate today, please visit here http://www.mindofutures.org/donations.php.